Digital Media Production student Sade applied to ARU through Clearing, having taken a year out to work and gain experience. Here, she explains how Clearing was the opportunity to find her perfect course.
Back in August 2021, I was getting ready and preparing to start university in September. I was going to study television production at a university in London, I was so excited! I had applied for the course two years before in 2019 in my last year of college. Of course, what followed next was Covid, so I decided to delay my university offer and work for a year.
Gaining experience in my gap year
During Covid, we weren't able to attend my church in person, so they needed to adapt to being online. We decided to use YouTube and upload videos of our services every week. I knew how to edit so I decided to take the job and help edit the services; over time it grew and to this day I’m still editing the services each week. The word spread that I was the editor so I did a few other videos for people on the side. I also spent a lot of time on After Effects, learning how that worked. Anything that anyone wanted I said 'Yes!', then I figured out how to do it after. I was still in college (online) and was making loads of motion graphics and videos too in my spare time.
Finding the right course for me
Then it was time to start my year of work where I was a media technician. I was still signed up to do television production at university and was getting ready to begin in the September. Unfortunately, in the August before I was due to start, I received an email saying that my course was no longer running, and it would be cancelled. My heart was broken, especially because I would have been on the course if I hadn't delayed my it to work. I didn’t know what to do as I didn’t want to enrol into BA Film, which was the alternative course they suggested for me. I had a long think about what to do, and started to consider all the editing that I was doing.
I decided to simply search for media, as I studied this in college. I wanted something practical and broad as I really loved my college course and thought I could do something similar. One course that kept popping up was Digital Media Production at ARU. Looking through the modules I saw that it had motion graphics, a fundamentals module which was broad, and there was also an option to work instead of doing a dissertation which really interested me. It was pure coursework and didn’t require a portfolio. It seemed perfect for me!
Looking back, I’ve always made and edited videos whilst also having a big interest in the behind-the-scenes of television production. I realised that my passion lied in making videos that could be shown on television, such as theme song title sequences, montages and music videos. So I realised I could study media and still work in the television industry.
Applying to ARU through Clearing
I saw that the Digital Media Production course was open for Clearing, though I wasn’t confident what that even meant. I did some research and realised that Clearing was for people like me! In fact, I had written down ARU as my second option back when I first applied to university in 2019, but because I was so focused on my first choice I didn’t look at ARU too much. This time though, I saw I would be studying in Cambridge which was much closer to home than my first choice would’ve been. It was also a smoother commute from where I live. It was a city but it wasn’t scary (I’m a town girl) and I’d never been before so I wanted to experience it!
At this point, I was so glad that I deferred a year otherwise I never would’ve known about this course or had reason to look at different courses. The Digital Media Production course wasn’t running in my gap year anyway, so even if I'd realised earlier that I wanted to go into that area, I wouldn’t have been able to study at ARU.
I applied for the course and had a meeting with the course tutor, Emily, who made me feel so welcome and calm.
The process was the smoothest application I’ve been through, and the Clearing team made everything so easy for me, seriously. It was way less stressful than when I originally applied in the first place!
So, the rest is history and I’m about to go into my third year now. I’m so glad Clearing exists. For me, it just worked out perfectly.
By Sade Simmonds
BA (Hons) Digital Media Production
What is Clearing?
Clearing is an opportunity to reconsider your options, and join a university where you can study a subject you're passionate about.
You can apply through Clearing if:
- you didn’t apply before the UCAS deadline
- your grades are different to what you expected
- you’ve only just decided to go to uni
- you’ve changed your mind about what or where you want to study since you originally applied.
Find out more about Clearing at ARU